Brad Bird explains why he passed on directing Star Wars: The Force Awakens
For many, the chance to direct a Star Wars film wouldn't be something you'd turn down, but unfortunately that's just what TOMORROWLAND director Brad Bird had to do. Back before J.J. Abrams took the helm of STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS, Brad Bird had been offered the gig but realized that he had to turn it down in order to focus on TOMORROWLAND.
It absolutely was [a tough decision], but there was no way to do that film without junking this film, and we had already gotten George Clooney involved and I was excited about this film. I understand they had to get [The Force Awakens] made, and they would’ve had to push it in order for me to do it.
I love Star Wars, but Star Wars is going to get made whether I do it or not. They are not going to delay Star Wars in order for me to do Tomorrowland. [In terms of] Tomorrowland, you know momentum is fragile. And we need momentum. There was a lot of momentum on Tomorrowland and I really loved what the movie was. And I thought there's a chance that Tomorrowland wont get made, simply because it loses its momentum. A movie is a weird thing. It's not a tangible thing. You have this wispy cloud that you're trying to solidify and I thought that it deserved to be made. You know, Star Wars is a very robust thing right now and it's going to be fine.
Bird is right of course, STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS got made without him and seems to be in good hands with J.J. Abrams and personally I'm glad we get to see Brad Bird tackle an original property rather than a sequel of an established franchise. Upon finding out that Brad Bird had been offered the job, TOMORROWLAND screenwriter Damon Lindelof said that he had fully expected Bird to jump ship:
Yeah, I thought you were gonzo. They'd just offered Brad Star Wars and we were about six weeks out [from production on Tomorrowland] and were scouting in Florida, and I looked down at my phone and it was your smiley face and I was like, 'He's about to bounce.' And you didn't.
With Josh Trank's recent exit from the second Star Wars Anthology film, the possibility of Brad Bird taking his place was brought up, however Bird was quick to squash that possibility saying that "right now I’m writing Incredibles 2, so I’ve got my hands full."
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